Followers of two-year-old racing have some excellent action to look forward to in the next few weeks. Newmarket’s three-day
Cambridgeshire meeting at the end of September has 10 races over the three days with the final day having five, including two Group 1 races, the Middle Park Stakes and Cheveley Park Stakes.
Future Champions meeting, also at Newmarket, on October 11 and 12 also has two Group 1 races over the two days, the Fillies Mile and Dewhurst with a number of good supporting races.
Sandwiched between the two Newmarket meetings is the Arc de Triomphe meeting at Longchamp where Enable will bid for a record third successive win in one of Europe’s most significant races. Arc day has six Group 1 races, the most of any day’s racing in Europe, two of which are for two-year-olds, the Prix Marcel Boussac and Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere.
Whilst there are plenty of races at the highest level, there will also be plenty of maidens and novice races featuring horses who will be making an impact in Group 1 races in 2020. In recent years, John Gosden has been the trainer to follow in October, leading the way with newcomers and overall in the month, whilst Ed Walker’s runners in nurseries are worth keeping a close eye on, 10 winners from 26 runners in recent years.
DONCASTER ST LEGER MEETING
The St Leger meeting got underway on September 11 with a conditions race for two-year-olds over 6f. Whilst there were only three runners, it produced an excellent finish with odds-on favourite, Lazuli, holding on by a nose from Misty Grey. It looked as is Lazuli was going to win comfortably having travelled well throughout the race and taking the lead inside the last furlong but he idled and Misty Grey stayed on well and just lost out in a tight finish. This should have done Lazuli a lot of good (won easily on debut) and whilst the Group 1 Middle Park (one of two entries in the race for Charlie Appleby) is a big jump up he deserves to take his chance.
The 7f nursery saw victory go to Bravo Faisal for Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan, holding off the late challenge of top weight Hariboux inside the last 100 yards.
A valuable fillies nursery over 6 1/2f was the first race on day two, one of three two-year-old races on the card. The finish was fought out by the 5/1 joint favourites, Graceful Magic, unlucky at Goodwood on her previous run, and Stylistique, fourth in Group 3 company on her previous run. Graceful Magic was a short head in front to land her third win of the year for Eve Johnson Houghton who also had Special Secret finish fourth. Graceful Magic needs fast ground and will only go up a few pounds for this win, she is likely to be out again whilst the ground remains fast and she will continue to run well. With a rating of 94, Stylistique is one of the best maidens in the country and if Roger Varian drops her to maiden/novice company she will take plenty of beating.
20 runners lined up for the Weatherby Racing Bank £300000 2-Y-O Stakes also over 6 1/2f. Harpocrates had gone very close in Group 3 company at York on his previous start, caught close home, and was the 4/1 favourite for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore, one of three O’Brien runners in the race. He lost his chance at the start, rearing as the stalls opened and never managing to challenge, finishing seventh, behind his two stablemates in fifth and sixth. King’s Lynn, the least experienced runner in the field, a fast finishing second at Windsor on his only start, ran out a comfortable winner for The Queen, Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy. He made good progress from the rear of midfield with a couple of furlongs to go, taking the lead entering the last furlong and kept on well beating Repartee, who raced keenly in the rear early on but finished off strongly, by half a length with both Toro Strike and Manigordo running well in third and fourth respectively. There was plenty of Group form in this race, Repartee had finished third in the Gimcrack on his previous start, it bodes really well for King’s Lynn’s future prospects that he was able to win a race as competitive as this on just his second start. He deserves a place in Group company next time with the Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket at the end of September the ideal race for him over 7f.
The Group race on the card was the May Hill Stakes over a mile which has Group 2 status. There was a strong favourite, Cloak Of Spirits, impressive winner of a novice at Ascot on her only starts, she was supported into 6/4 for Richard Hannon and Andrea Atzeni. She failed to live up to market expectations however, racing keenly close to the pace set by market drifter, West End Girl, she failed to pick up when Atzeni asked and was one paced inside the final furlong, finishing sixth of the nine runners. Powerful Breeze, easy winner of her only start at Newmarket, ran out a convincing winner, held up in the early part of the race, she made good progress on the outside of the field and took the lead with a furlong and a half to go, only having to be pushed out by James Doyle to win by a length from Boomer, winner of the Group 3 Prestige Stakes on her previous start, with Alpen Rose, weak in the betting for a Charlie Appleby runner, keeping on to be third.
Powerful Breeze continued the good run of the Hugo Palmer two-year-olds, Hariboux, second the previous day, this was the 15th winner of the year (18 in 2018) and she is likely to be supplemented for the Group 1 Fillies Mile at Newmarket on Future Champions Day on October 11, where she would have a decent chance.
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